Tag Archives: Engagement

Logo Toaster

It’s not about the free WiFi or the toaster anymore

Personal Finance Management Tools (PFM) can help users do a lot of things these days like budget, visualize their spending or cash flow, aggregate multiple accounts, receive bill reminders and generally help them engage in more proactive financial planning.

A US BankChoice survey from May of this year as reported by The Financial Brand  indicates that currently 32% of those surveyed use a PFM service or software for budgeting & financial planning but 23% are relying on a 3rd party tool like Mint.com or Quicken to help them. With only 9% using a PFM tool provided from their bank or credit union,,,that means that there’s a BIG gap in the market as 36% of the women surveyed & 31% of the men surveyed in the same study, want their institution to provide those PFM tools.

Consumers want PFM

Again…we suggest, it’s not about the free WiFi or cappuccino in the branch anymore or the free toaster or tablet that may come with opening a new account.

Life is BUSY. Give the “People” what they want.

  • Consumers want tools to simplify their lives.
  • Consumers need insight into their own information and help managing their multiple To Do’s when it comes to financial & estate planning.
  • Consumers want to make more informed decisions on spending, saving, borrowing and investing.

The majority of financial service clients are looking to their financial service provider to show more value and to demonstrate Customer Advocacy (show that they care about them and not just the bottom line). We think that adds up fairly nicely to the WHY behind providing a PFM tool to clients (and prospective clients).

LegacyTracker is a PFM tool that can help your clients simplify, safeguard, share their important financial, legal and estate information while tracking their financial progress along the way.  Better Organized Clients are Better Clients.

 

 

 

LegacyTracker Net Worth Tracking

Net Worth/Worth Tracking

Some say Net Worth is a GOOD number to track in order to determine whether you are making financial progress. Others say it’s the ONLY number to track.

What is net worth ?

Net worth, (also generally referred to as wealth) is one measure of an individual’s material wellbeing or financial success, measured by the amount by which assets exceed liabilities or debt. And yes; it’s possible to have a negative number especially for young professionals with student debt; don’t despair.

Assets – Liabilities = Net Worth 

Why does it matter?

Knowing your net worth is an important aspect of personal financial planning. It can be a wealth strategy. Net worth can also be a benchmark for wealth or financial fitness much like your weight is a benchmark in a weight management program. It can also be a powerful motivator to save more, spend less, pay off debt or to work proactively with a professional financial advisor to map out a financial plan.to financial success.

Net worth is worth keeping track of as it also represents the degree of flexibility one might have to respond to unexpected or unforeseen circumstances like a job loss, an unexpected illness or a drop in the financial markets. A healthy net worth can also provide individuals with opportunities like starting a business or going back to school. Ultimately, retirement will also be funded by net worth. At some time in the future net worth will be utilized in order to fund retirement.and cover living expenses.

Track or Update regularly

One thing is certain. Net worth will fluctuate over time but hopefully it will grow in the right direction. Regular updates can help you keep on track with your financial goals; a financial checkup; much like going to the doctor for a health checkup. Regular updating can help ensure that savings and spending are held in check. You don’t need to be an accountant to calculate net worth; a simple excel spreadsheet or an online tool can be used. We’ve included net worth tracking as an important feature inside LegacyTracker

Compare cautiously

A growing number of bloggers now post their progress around building their net worth online for all of their readers to see. That’s one way to compare. They say it keeps them accountable. I’m an accountant; we like to keep things nice and confidential.

Easily found comparables might be the annual surveys that report the average net worth of Canadians or Americans as an indicator of financial well-being over time. For example, the average Canadian household net worth broke $400,000 at the end of 2012, which was a 5.8% increase over 2011; slightly ahead of the US by about $19.000.

Whether or not it is used as an indicator of financial status, tracking net worth can be motivating and so keeping it updated on a regular basis and making sure you are making progress, is a positive move. I have found too many clients who are so focused on the estimated value of their assets (say the growing estimated value of a home in Toronto for example), that they don’t take into consideration the growth of their debt over time.That’s the advantage of tracking Net worth as opposed to Total Asset Accumulation.

It’s the NET and the NET movement in financial progress that matters over the long-term for you and your family. That’s the reason we included a Net Worth tracker in LegacyTracker.

Age of the Customer means it’s about ‘them’

I thought a recent article by Aldo Cundari (of Cundari) was worth passing along and summarizing,. Although his article “How Did we get to the Age of the Customer is tag lined with “how digital turned talking to consumers on its head”   so there’s your clue

How did we get to the Age of the Customer?                  (because yes we are there)

Aldo attributes the evolving state of marketing that happened over the course of the last few years to the age of digital where all consumers can now do their own research on what they want  and research reviews & options like never before. That makes “Shopping Around” quite different and that makes marketing products & services a lot different too; not to mention some additional BIG challenges like social media, hyper competition, product proliferation and globalization added in to the mix.

So, if we are shopping differently now, (becuase this does sound a lot like the way I shop), .then..the question becomes more about…

How to best serve those potential Customers when they arrive and ask their final questions to ensure they do become your Customers…

Indeed, the customer is empowered now like never before with information in order to purchase. Whereas, 10 years ago, it was more about the Information Age, it’s now evolved into the Age of the Customer. They’ve got the info  which has lead to the disruption and change in the way consumers behave, purchase & engage and because of that, they have higher expectations. The consumer is driving now and leading and he warns, Organizations who ignore this shift will suffer.

Here’s the difference of the Past vs the Present as Aldo Cundari has presented it:

The past:  

aldo 2

 

 

 

 

The present:

 

aldo 3

 

 

 

 

I like how Cundari summarizes what all this means: now that the Customers are in the driver’s seat as he says:

Marketers need to re-evaluate their approach and look deeper to understand, empathize and help customers meet their needs through their new purchasing and decision-making behaviours.  I think that sounds a lot like Customer advocacy. 

We appreciate Customer Advocacy and we think your Customers will as well. LegacyTracker demonstrates Customer Advocacy by helping them meet a lot of challenges by helping them:

  • Simplify & safeguard their details
  • Become more empowered with those details in order that they can become more proactive about their Financial & Estate Planning,
  • Enhance their level of Emergency Preparedness and
  • Facilitate important conversations with loved ones & family that they too often delay.

Connect with us about LegacyTracker 

 

Read more: Strategy Online – How did we get to the Age of the Customer

 

 

 

 

Financial Advice

Rethinking Client/Financial Advisor Relationships

A 2012 Accenture report delved into how changes in client expectations along with a more competitive landscape is forcing wealth management companies to rethink their relationships with clients and their own advisors.

Here’s a summary:

  • 2 Major trends are reshaping the playing field for wealth management: 1) a more competitive marketplace and 2) the changing nature of clients
  1. The market is becoming more crowded with players from adjacent industries entering including those who can leverage significant capabilities and existing relationships (banks) or their brand presence and existing distribution channels (insurance companies) or those that can offer direct product distribution without advice (Non financial firms
  2. The need for advice has never been greater, clients want 24/7 access to advice, diversified sources of advice, and less costly advice. Advice-led distribution will remain a key focus. But those that are successful will find a new ways to deliver & provide more options for delivery including direct access to information, fairly sophisticated planning tools & risk metrics

How can the client-advisor relationship evolve in response to growing consumer demand for customization and the imminent threat of new competitors ? T

he Accenture report suggests firms and advisors work to

  • Be more customer centric.
  • Enable collaboration,
  • Improve process efficiency
  • Support stronger relationships.
  • Leverage technology to reduce risk, improve compliance and make selling simpler.
  • Build deeper relationships with clients/enable advisors to be more productive
  • Integrate mobile and social strategies
  • Enhance client experiences via mobile access to data along with interactive technologies 
  • Add a human element to digital interactions
  • Add analytics, insight driven intelligence and interactive tools for advisors

Accenture reports that firms must integrate the digital experience into the overall advisory experience, to support the advisors’ role. Top advisors at wealth management firms will adapt to changing client expectations and new competitive forces by doing what they already do best and

  • Showclients that they can provide value beyond that of direct channels
  • Provide high-touch, client-focused advice that reinforces their understanding of clients’ financial needs
  • Use tools and systems to increase productivity
  • Collaborate both internally and externally to build solutions that are tailored to their clients’ personal preferences as well as meet their financial goals.

Today’s top-performing advisors have developed personal, successful strategies and tactics. but those at the top, need to work to leverage such practices throughout the broader advisor network. Accenture suggests that Firms should give adequate consideration about how to provide advisors at all levels with the tools and capabilities needed to deliver a branded, valuable and distinctive client experience.

Also, further strategies are required in order for firms to differentiate by building on their current strengths giving appropriate consideration to how they will:

  • Satisfy client expectations for a customized experience,
  • Institutionalize and promote the practices of top performers
  • Address the proposal creation/meeting preparation activities to make way for more highly tailored experiences  while cutting preparation time
  • Increase customer intimacy through branded and customized client experiences, intended to result in higher prospect-to-client conversion and higher lifetime value of relationships
  • Build capabilities to make the advisor a one-stop-shop for a complete set of financial services, including tax, estate and retirement planning
  • Complement face-to-face with self-serve interactions, providing clients with advice when, where, and how they want it

You can read more of Accenture’s Report here   and …

You can learn about how LegacyTracker can help Advisor/Relationships by contacting us

 

The Financial & Emotional Benefits of Fully Engaged Bank Customers

Gallup (the research, polling and advice organization) has been writing a lot about the shifting landscape for financial institutions and their insights into channel optimization, emerging customer behaviors/ preferences, product penetration and relationship growth, & generally…engagement.

There are tangible benefits to be gained when clients are fully engaged (or loyal and emotionally attached) with their financial Institution and I’m betting that the same should apply to financial Advisors.  I will let you decide. The tangible benefits relate to Increased Revenue/Wallet Share and Product Penetration

Based on their November 2013 survey on Retail Banking, they reported that fully engaged customers bring in $402 additional revenue per year compared to those who are ‘disengaged’  For those clients who could be identified as Affluent ($100K to $1M in investable assets), the value is closer to $869 additional revenue.

Now you just have to multiply that by the number of your banking customers who could be “engaged”

Fully “Engaged” customers behave differently:

  1. 10% greater wallet share in deposit balances
  2. 14% greater wallet share in investments
  3. Twice the number of discretionary category add-ons investment, insurance, or advisory products with their primary bank)
  4. Greater Purchase Intent that is, a stronger intent to purchase from their primary institution over the next year
  5. 71% believe that they will be with that financial institution for life

Gallup on Fully Engage Customers 2

Fully engaged customers and clients are more likely to say they will open new accounts, switch an account from another financial provider, increase their balances, add ancillary products and services, or obtain financial planning advice than are those customers who are just satisfied.

Engagement Matters. Customer Satisfaction is good but Customer Engagement is much better. Engagement results in a tangible financial difference. How engaged are your clients ? How can you help them become more engaged ?  LegacyTracker

Read more here

BMO study finds many Canadians unaware what investments they hold

A BMO study released in April 2012 made note of these results:

Approximately 80 % of Canadians were confident in their investment portfolio, but …..nearly 50% were unaware what investments they actually had..

Many not aware of their investments

BMO made these suggestions when they released the report:

  • The key is to monitor and add to your investments all year round.
  • Consistently examine your portfolio to make sure that diversification exists between stocks, bonds, cash and real-estate
  • Look to the long-term instead of the short-term as often times, Investors are scared by volatile markets and focus on the potential for short term-loss
  • The best fix includes consolidating your assets to keep track of where your money is being held.

As an accountant, I know first hand that many of my clients when I was in public practice were (and most likely are still) part of these stats. I know because I opened up a lot of their mail each April in order to prepare their tax returns (!) It’s one of the many reasons that I felt the need to develop LegacyTracker.

LegacyTracker can help you with these suggestions. Legacy Tracker offers individuals and families a simple, comprehensive and common sense online solution for monitoring, tracking, sharing and safeguarding important financial, legal and estate information.